The Use of Distributed Displays of Operating Room Video When Real-Time Occupancy Status Was Available

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INTRODUCTION:On the day of surgery, real-time information of both room occupancy and activities within the operating room (OR) is needed for management of staff, equipment, and unexpected events.METHODS:A status display system showed color OR video with controllable image quality and showed times that patients entered and exited each OR (obtained automatically). The system was installed and its use was studied in a 6-OR trauma suite and at four locations in a 19-OR tertiary suite. Trauma staff were surveyed for their perceptions of the system.RESULTS:Evidence of staff acceptance of distributed OR video included its operational use for >3 yr in the two suites, with no administrative complaints. Individuals of all job categories used the video. Anesthesiologists were the most frequent users for more than half of the days (95% confidence interval [CI] >50%) in the tertiary ORs. The OR charge nurses accessed the video mostly early in the day when the OR occupancy was high. In comparison (P < 0.001), anesthesiologists accessed it mostly at the end of the workday when occupancy was declining and few cases were starting. Of all 30-min periods during which the video was accessed in the trauma suite, many accesses (95% CI >42%) occurred in periods with no cases starting or ending (i.e., the video was used during the middle of cases). The three stated reasons for using video that had median surveyed responses of “very useful” were “to see if cases are finished,” “to see if a room is ready,” and “to see when cases are about to finish.”CONCLUSIONS:Our nurses and physicians both accepted and used distributed OR video as it provided useful information, regardless of whether real-time display of milestones was available (e.g., through anesthesia information system data).

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